October 2014 | Cynthia Rodrigues

Volunteering as one

Management and employees think alike and do their bit towards making Tata Engage a bigger success

Employees in China assist at various medical camps
The strength of Tata Volunteering Week lies in the ease with which it has inspired an army of first-time volunteers, employees who have willingly set aside their busy schedules and routines and taken time off from family commitments and work deadlines to do something worthy for others. The returns they get is a value-add for their own lives, as they gain insights into the world of nonprofits and community development, and realise how each individual can make a difference. ‘Your addition can change the equation’ is the message that Tata Engage uses to drive home the point.

Tata group Chairman Cyrus P Mistry, speaking at the launch of Tata Engage in March 2014, had said, “I believe that the volunteering programme that has been launched will be critical to the experience of every Tata employee. I think the potential for us to add value to society by bringing managerial experience to problems and finding solutions would be immense. I believe the fulfillment that each employee will achieve will be even better.”

The support of the Chairman gave the movement an added fillip, encouraging many to sign up to be of service to others. But the weight of the message lies in the intent to bring ‘managerial expertise’ to alleviate community problems. And that is the role crafted for Tata Engage. On a higher level, the goal of Tata Engage is to unite employees across businesses, time zones and geographies, and based entirely on their commitment to devote time and skills to social causes. The Tata Sustainability Group will bolster the Volunteering Week by organising centralised campaigns and offering cross-company support. It will also support group companies in their efforts to develop their own volunteering policy and programmes.

NS Rajan, group chief human resources officer and member, Group Executive Council, believes that Tata Engage “creates a fantastic opportunity for an employee to find opportunities both in terms of time and accommodation to go and do something for the sheer joy of doing it.”

Other senior leaders of the group are equally enthused. Dr Mukund Rajan, member, Group Executive Council and brand custodian and chief ethics officer, Tata Sons, explains the potential of Tata Engage to drive change: “When you think of the power of half-a-million employees trying to do their best to give back to society and serve the community, you realise that this group has an enormous power to do good. So what we want from this programme is to ensure that every person in this group sees fit to contribute in whatever way they can and with whatever organisation they wish to associate. This will help us to realise that we have a larger purpose than just looking for individual fame and glory.”

In a group in which 66 percent of the shareholding of the parent company, Tata Sons, is held by the philanthropic Tata Trusts, it is hardly surprising that the Tata ecosystem takes responsibility towards the community and the environment seriously. In many ways, Tata Engage is an expression of the group philosophy, which has always sought to give back to society and the community.


Learn more about Tata Engage

Overview: Engage to empower
Taking time out from the daily grind to volunteer for social causes is not just worthy behaviour, it has a positive all-round impact — and that is what Tata Engage is driving through its incredible volunteering engine
A growing army of helpers
The pool of volunteers registering for the Tata Engage programme continues to grow steadily after each edition
Putting philosophy into practice
Tata Engage volunteers give generously of their time and resources as their actions embody the group philosophy of giving back to society
Making volunteering easy
The Tata Engage volunteering movement continues to grow as better processes and structures are put in place
Service in action
Tata employees across the globe do their bit and give back to the community